News of the Week: Annoying Commercials, a CosMc Character, and the Wrong Way to Eat a Croissant

In the news for the week ending August 25, 2023, are A.I. missteps, a new LEGO building, a state-of-the-art remote control, an early dinner, and more.


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Random Thoughts

I’m so glad August is almost over. It’s my second-least-favorite month. If I were to rate them from best to worst, it would go like this: November, December, October, September, January, February, March, April, June, May, August, July.

What is going on with Conan O’Brien’s voice in those SiriusXM ads? Why does he suddenly sound like one of Marge Simpson’s sisters?

Speaking of commercials, I’ve had this song stuck in my head every day for the past 6 weeks (and now so will you).

More proof we don’t need articles written by A.I. Microsoft has had to delete an article that suggested tourists visiting an Ottawa food bank should visit “on an empty stomach.”

LEGO is moving its North American headquarters to Boston! I was hoping they would build their new offices out of those colorful bricks but, alas, that won’t be the case.

Last night I tried to cook a couple of chicken fingers. The directions said how long to cook them but not how many to cook for that time. So cooking two of them for 15 minutes is the same as cooking the entire bag of 20 for 15 minutes? (They were not good.)

Words and phrases I wish would make a comeback: malarkey, the bee’s knees, nincompoop, and scram.

A lot of cars drive by my house blasting music out of their speakers. Why isn’t it ever good music?

What Time Do You Eat Dinner?

I’ll agree that 4 or 4:30 p.m. might be a little early for dinner, but 6 or 7? That’s called “when most Americans have always had dinner.”

Uploaded to YouTube by TODAY.

(Side note: when I was a kid we always called it “supper.”)

You’re Doing It Wrong

One of my least favorite internet memes is the “you’re doing it wrong” meme. That’s when people — sometimes experts! — tell us that the thing we’ve been doing for years with no problems is actually the wrong way of doing that thing. Are you an adult still putting ketchup on a hot dog? You’re doing it wrong! Eating spaghetti with a fork and spoon? You’re doing it wrong! Washing your clothes? You’re doing it wrong!

Now it looks like we’ve all been eating croissants wrong, according to a British etiquette expert. You’re not supposed to put butter on them, you’re not supposed to use a knife to open them, and oh my God why are you dipping them in your coffee?

If you listen to people like this, you’re doing it wrong.


In early 2024, McDonald’s will be testing a new kind of restaurant called “CosMc.” I don’t know what the restaurants will be like exactly, but there was a character in TV commercials in the late 1980s named CosMc, which appears to have been some sort of big bug inside a robot suit.

Something I Learned This Week

I was familiar with the classic Zenith Space Command TV remote, and I love the simplicity of its design, especially since I now have four remote controls on my coffee table. But what I didn’t realize until reading an article at The Verge was that it worked without the use of batteries or infrared. Can you guess how it worked?

RIP Ron Cephas Jones, Ray Hildebrand, David Jacobs, John Warnock, Michael Parkinson, Nancy Frangione, Al Quie, and Lolita

Ron Cephas Jones won two Emmys for his role on the NBC drama This Is Us. He also appeared on such shows as Truth Be Told, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Luke Cage, and Mr. Robot and was nominated for a Tony. He died last week at the age of 66.

Ray Hildebrand was the male half of the duo Paul & Paula (the female half was Jill Jackson), known for their No. 1 hit “Hey, Paula” as well as “Young Lovers” and “First Quarrel.” He died last week at the age of 82.

David Jacobs created the CBS soaps Dallas and Knot’s Landing. He also produced and wrote for many other shows and started his career writing for magazines. He died Sunday at the age of 84.

John Warnock was the co-founder of Adobe. He died Saturday at the age of 82.

Michael Parkinson was a longtime British talk show host. He’s also one of the celebrities featured on the cover of the Wings album Band on the Run. He died last week at the age of 88.

Nancy Frangione played Cecile on Another World and also had roles on All My Children, One Life to Live, and The Nanny. She died last week at the age of 70.

Al Quie was a former congressman from Minnesota and governor of the state from 1979 to 1983. He died last week at the age of 99.

Lolita was the oldest-living orca whale in captivity. She died last week at the age of 57.

This Week in History

Voyager 2 Launched (August 20, 1977)

It was almost lost last month, but here’s how engineers got it back.

Norrmalmstorg Bank Robbery (August 23, 1973)

The hostage crisis at a bank in Stockholm bank introduced the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome” to the lexicon.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Zenith Space Command (August 24, 1957)


You could use this to mute those commercials I mentioned above.

More Ways to Eat Croissants

Sally’s Baking Addiction has a classic recipe for Homemade Croissants, while Inspired Taste tells you how to make 30-Minute Chocolate Croissants using store-bought puff pastry (if you don’t want to go to all of the hassle of making them from scratch). And Insanely Good Recipes has ideas for 23 different croissant sandwiches, including a Turkey BLT, a Dill Pickle Chicken Salad, and a Hot Ham and Swiss.

Don’t worry, all of these recipes are fine ways to eat croissants, until an expert comes along and tells you otherwise.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Little League World Series Championship (August 27)

ABC will have the game starting at 3 p.m. ET.

U.S. Open Starts (August 28)

The last major tennis tournament of the year will air daily on ESPN and ESPN 2. Every morning at 9 a.m., Tennis Channel will have highlights and analysis.

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  1. I love a lot of the links you take the effort to include here also, but often find within 5 seconds it won’t let me read the article without paying for a subscription. Not just this week, but for a long time. Obviously they work when you enclose them, so I’m not sure how many other people are running into this.

    Donna, I click on links I’m interested in before putting in my comments (versus doing so as I’m going along) because sometimes the back arrow won’t take me back to the column. More than once (a long time ago) I had to completely re-write them. It’s a drag, but lessons learned. Since then I have the iPhone handy when typing the comments.

  2. There are three meals a day…Breakfast, Dinner, & Supper. That’s what we call it in the Southern rural areas. No such thing as Lunch unless you live in the city or have city ways.

    These obituaries may have come in too late to be included in this week’s email but Professional Wrestling Hall of Famer Terry Funk of the famous Funk wrestling family in West Texas and former World’s Champion passed away as did current WWE wrestler, Bray Wyatt who was only 36. His real name was Windham Rotunda and he was the son of Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda, the nephew of Barry Windham, and the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan all three of which are Pro Wrestling Hall of Famers. You might wish to include them in next week’s tributes.

  3. Donna: I’m not sure what you mean by having to go back to email to get the article, but when the link goes to another page all you should have to do is hit the “back” button on your browser to go back to the article (or follow the right-click instructions below).

  4. Hi Donna Lee Davis, until SatPost makes adjustments to its links, try right-clicking on the link you’d like to read, then click the first prompt, which I believe is ‘Open in New Tab’. The link will open on a separate page, leaving your original article intact.

  5. Great column as usual. But could the Post not ask its web master to change the way links work? You always have the most tantalizing links, but when I click on one, rather than opening the link in a new window and allowing me to return to your article when finished, the article is lost. I must go back to my email to reopen the article and find where I left off. Over and over. There is a way to code linking differently so that the original “document” remains in an accessible window or tab. I think.


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